NBA Bargains 11/6/16
J.J. Barea – Deron Williams is “very questionable” head into Sunday’s tilt with Milwaukee, which in the event that he sits, would open the door to big minutes for J.J. Barea. The veteran point guard is already logging 31 MPG with Williams active, so there’s no reason to believe he shouldn’t be considered a top value if his backcourt mate sits. Milwaukee’s defense is a sieve, and Barea is sporting a 24 percent usage rate on the year. Barea’s usage rate spikes to 28 percent with Williams off the court — you do the math.
Marcus Smart – Since making his 2016-17 season debut on Wednesday, Smart has averaged 31 minutes per game. The production leaves much to be desired (22.5 DKPT/G), but we can at least hang our hats on the idea that he’ll lead the second unit in touches. Smart isn’t a talented shooter, but the opportunity will be there, and he remains affordable across the board. Boston is a 7.5-point home favorite in what should be a high scoring affair, so look for Smart to get his chances to churn out a respectable performance against a banged up Denver backcourt. That being said, there are better value options at other positions, and I’d much prefer Barea over Smart at point guard if Williams is out.
Lou Williams – Sweet Lou has been very solid off the bench for L.A. to start the year, having now turned in consecutive 30-plus fantasy point performances while shooting 47 percent and 41 percent from deep on the year. He’ll draw a plus matchup with Phoenix in what’s projected to be a back and forth affair at the Staples Center, owning by far the highest over-under on the night (218 O/U). We’d love to see more court time for Williams, but his 25.4 percent usage rate and 16.4 field goal attempts per 36 warrant consideration on their own. Williams also has the second most assist points created in L.A., behind only D’Angelo Russell. You could do a lot worse at this price point.
NOTE: While he isn’t your prototypical value play, Devin Booker remains very affordable across the board, and should warrant serious attention at this price point after proving on Friday night that he is no longer hindered by his ailing toe.
Seth Curry & Malcolm Brogdon – Both of these guards are super punts, and shouldn’t be considered outside of GPPs. Unless you’re looking to roster all three of the top-priced options on Sunday’s slate, you shouldn’t need to dig this deep. That being said, Rick Carlisle seems to like his new two-guard, and even gave him a spot start when Dirk Nowitzki was sidelined. If Deron Williams sits, Curry should see extended minutes off the bench, and at minimum salary won’t need to produce much in order to pay off his price tag. A matchup with Milwaukee is just a bonus. As for Brogdon, he’s a volatile option whose production likely isn’t sustainable, but averaging north of 25 MPG off the bench over his last three games is enough to warrant consideration in GPPs, as this slate offers only four contests to choose from.
Harrison Barnes – The Mavericks’ new max-contract wing will be considered a value play until his salary jumps above $6K on FanDuel and DraftKings. Actually, he is somehow sitting at $5,100 on FanDuel, which absolutely puts him in play against Milwaukee and the terrible defense of Jabari Parker. Barnes is much more involved in Dallas’ offense than he ever was in Golden State, averaging nearly 16 FGA and four 3PTA per game on the year. While this contest likely won’t boast a ton of scoring, Barnes’ 35-plus MPG will be enough to post serviceable fantasy totals at the least.
Jaylen Brown – The rookie small forward erupted in his first career start, posting 19 points (8-16 FG), five rebounds, two assists, three steals and a block across 35 minutes of work. With Al Horford and Jae Crowder sidelined, Brown should receive another start against the Nuggets. This matchup is an exploitable one, and although it would be silly to expect similar production to last game, Brown won’t require much more than 20 fantasy points to get the job done. Minutes should be secure, too, as two of Boston’s key starters will be watching from the bench.
Larry Nance – Seriously, what isn’t there to love about Larry Nance? The athletic, long-armed forward has proven that when given sufficient run he is able to produce, and Luke Walton will have a tough time keeping him on the bench after three straight impressive performances. Nance has tallied 28-plus fantasy points in each of those games, while shooting 68 percent from the field in that span. He’s going to shoot at a high percentage due to his ability to slam back offensive rebounds and get easy buckets around the rim. Nance might not be the perfect fit for this matchup with Phoenix, but it shouldn’t matter much. He’s a great value forward across the board.
Amir Johnson – Johnson is the epitome of a boom-or-bust fantasy option, but he should continue to play solid minutes with Al Horford sidelined. While I’m not expecting massive production from Johnson, the Nuggets’ frontcourt defense is suspect at best, and he should have no trouble converting a few easy buckets around the rim. It’s either Johnson or Omri Casspi at the power forward position in the event that you decide to forego rostering Nance, which I wouldn’t recommend. Casspi was disappointing in Saturday’s spot start, but he still logged 24 minutes in a blowout and should see close to 30 on Sunday if Rudy Gay sits and this game stays close, which there’s still a good chance it won’t. Nance is easily the best value at the position.
Andrew Bogut – The 12th-year Aussie big man is no longer a viable fantasy option with minutes being limited nightly. He is, however, dirt cheap across the board, and squares off against a Milwaukee frontcourt that is filled with holes. Bogut is $3,600 on DraftKings, and although he’s logging only 23 MPG, I find it hard to believe he won’t be able to pay off that price tag with 20-22 fantasy points in a splendid matchup. The Bucks are allowing the fifth highest frontcourt offensive efficiency to their opponents over the first one-plus weeks of the season.
Tyson Chandler – The veteran big man has now posted 31-plus fantasy points in three of his last four starts, while recording an eye-popping 18 rebounds in each of those three games. Chandler’s minutes continue to rise, and his fantasy totals have come along for the ride. At his current price point, Chandler can exceed value without scoring more than a few points, as his rebounding totals have been enough to push him over the top. This will be the last time we see Chandler at a mid-$4K price point for a while if he happens to churn out another solid performance, which is entirely plausible against the Lakers. I’m not sure how many minutes he’ll see in this matchup, but with Mozgov back on the court it shouldn’t be a concern.
Tyler Zeller – Believe it or not, Tyler Zeller is averaging a impressive 1.1 FPPM on the season, and is coming off a beautiful 11-point, 10-rebound, six-assist, two-steal double-double against the Cavaliers. He’s averaging around 27 MPG with Al Horford sidelined, and should see similar run on Sunday. Furthermore, this matchup with Denver is friendlier than either of the last two teams he has faced. I’d rather use Zeller over Amir Johnson, as he is more likely not to bust entirely, and owns a low-$4K price point across the board.